The WWF Raw wiki last edited by Jeff on 02/15/14 10:34AM
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WWF RAW was, at its time, possibly the best looking wrestling game in the US. THQ released a title with phenomenal visuals and an impressive amount of customization for your entrance. They even attempt to mimic the camera angles popularized on the RAW broadcast, so you'll see the action from a long list of unusual perspectives.
It also had a fairly unique game mechanic in that a health meter is replaced with a popularity meter. If the crowd is really behind somebody, you won't be able to pin them, which makes it vital that one really beats down on their opponent to win. You have to work an offense based on this, so spamming a certain move actually backfires as if you do a certain move repeatedly, the audience will cease responding to it and it will end up not doing much to actually defeat the opponent. If the man is pinnable and you do not pin them, the crowd will turn on you as well. Obviously, the more popular the wrestler (such as Rock), the more difficult it is to defeat them. It is possible, but it is quite difficult. The reversal engine is based primarily on timing button presses.
The grappling engine seems to borrow, somewhat, from THQ's UFC titles of that era. The grappling engine hit a medium between the No Mercy and Smackdown series.
There is no appreciable storyline in the game, something that had started appearing in wrestling games at about that point. The matches also tended to run fairly long. 15 minute or more matches are not all that unusual in WWF RAW, making quick pick-up-and-play sessions a bit of a challenge to pull off. And while the customization in your entrance is very in-depth, the customization of your characters appearance and moveset is far less in-depth. There is also no real weight classification. Anybody can do all of their moves to anybody else, no matter the size difference. Women wrestlers can bodyslam The Undertaker without a problem, for example.